Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Whirlwind of a Month!

This month has been a whirlwind and I am exhausted!  There have been many, many changes in our lives with all of our children having exciting things going on that are taking them in different directions at a moment's notice.  Trying to coordinate everyone's schedules for family events is like nailing jello to a wall.  There have been times when I have been caught in the middle trying to get everyone's needs and wants met and have found myself in tears because it is impossible to do so.  I feel stretched beyond my limits but know that I need to just keep moving forward and do what I can.  I thank God that I have my husband and his big strong arms to collapse into.  He is my calm in the midst of every storm and I would be lost without him.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Our Saturday Date Night

My husband and I have a long standing Saturday Date Night.  Going out on a date every week can get really expensive.  When our children were growing up, we tried to have a regular movie night with popcorn, soda, juice or homemade slushies and the kids would take turns picking a movie for the family that night that we either already owned or we would borrow from the library.  Once the kids were in bed, my husband and I would watch a movie of our choice. We all looked forward to our movies nights. :) Now that the kids are all grown, my husband and I continue the tradition of having a movie night but we have tweaked it a bit.  

We start the evening out with a nice dinner that I have either made or we have picked up at the deli.  This last weekend it was homemade pizza.

  Next we take a nice long soak in our hot tub to help ease sore muscles, have wonderful heart to heart talks and the cares of the world just seem to melt away.

After we are all relaxed from our soak in the hot tub, we pick out a DVD or two, crawl into bed and snuggle up under the covers, our huge cat Molly nestled in between us, and enjoy our movie choice for the evening. 

Our date nights are something that we look forward to each week.  We know that it is a time when we can really relax, reconnect after a busy week, and enjoy a good movie in the comfort of our home.  Regular date nights do not have to involve going out somewhere and spending lots of money.  It is about spending time together as a couple and not being distracted by all the busy-ness in our lives.



Sunday, April 14, 2013

Congratulations to Jaysn and Rachel!

Ever since our boys were born, we have been praying for their then future wives.  God has blessed Chris and Josh with wonderful women to be their wives and to be our daughters. Our son Jaysn has been so happy to see his brothers get married, all the while waiting for God to bring him the right woman to share his own life with.  The waiting has not always been easy but Jaysn knew that God had the right person out there just for him.  One day Jaysn told us that he met a wonderful girl and that he wanted to get to know her better.  They started seeing each other and he brought her out to meet us on Superbowl Sunday.  That one afternoon and evening spent with her convinced us that she was very special indeed and we could clearly see where this was heading. ;) 

We are so thrilled to share that our oldest son Jaysn and his girlfriend Rachel are now engaged!  Jeff and I have never seen our son happier and more content and we have to say, we love Rachel!  She is so much fun, shares the same values as our son and fits right in with our crazy family. ;)  She also gets bonus points for graduating from the same college I did. :D  Welcome to our ever expanding family Rachel and Jaysn, you did well son! :D

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Bradley is 13 Months Old!

Bradley just turned 13 months old!  Where has the time gone?  He spent the day and night with us last Friday and we had such a wonderful time with him.  He and Caesar have become best buddies and you will not find them far from each other.  Caesar especially loves it when it is meal time because Bradley loves to either share or drop things for him. ;)

Bradley continues to make us laugh with his antics and expressions...he is such a goofball!  This boys is also a huge flirt and loves to get the attention of pretty girls. ;)  He is fascinated with the sound that the large rubber bands make that we used to keep the cabinet doors closed under the sink so he can't get into them.  I know that soon he is going to figure out how to just take them off and then the bigger safety latches are going to have to be put on.  Some days I just want to put the brakes on and tell him to stop growing up so quickly!  I am so thankful though that we live close enough to spend lots and lots of time with him.  He makes G-pa and I so incredibly happy!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Learning To Let Go

Forgive me for getting all philosophical today but this is something that has been on my mind for over a year and I have been hesitant to put it down in writing.  I was afraid to "offend" anyone but realize that if I have been struggling with this, then I am sure there are other people that are also.  Maybe it will help someone else who reads this to realize that they are not alone in their struggle trying to reconcile these same feelings.

Learning to let go is never easy, no matter what the circumstance.  As a parent, it is so hard to watch your children take all those needed and important independent steps in their lives, but yet, if we are good parents, we do, all the while praying that our children are not hurt in the process.  Letting go of certain items that we have had for years is tough.  There are so many memories attached to some of them.  We need to realize that we can still keep the memories, while letting go of the thing.  One of the areas that I struggle most with though is letting go of the “what should have been” when the reality of the situation is just the opposite, especially when it comes to relationships.

I am by nature a “care taker”.  In essence what it means is that I want to take care of everyone and make sure they feel loved, important, included, supported and most of all valued for who they are as a person.  I hate to see people hurting.  I will sacrifice to help others and will try my best be there for them, even when it is difficult for me to do so due to time, finances, etc..  I will also give people the benefit of the doubt until they prove me wrong.  My husband and children are the same way and that is one of the many reasons I love them so much.  They too have tender hearts.  It is also one of the reasons that I (and I am sure many others can relate to this) can be so deeply hurt when the realization hits that certain people that I have sacrificed so much for, don’t seem to care about anyone’s feelings but their own and how much they can “get” for themselves.  They are users who will manipulate people’s emotions, using any means they can to gain your sympathy, get you to do things for them and to give them things.  They expect you to always be there for them, but when you need them to be there for you, they are nowhere to be found.  In the worst of cases, these people will go out of their way, after you have been there for them, to try and discredit you because they are afraid that now that you know who they truly are, others may find out the truth about them also.  The last thing they want is for anyone to see them for who they really are.  I feel so blindsided and betrayed when dealing with people like this.  I have a hard time letting go of the “what should have been” feelings.  Feelings that all people should be decent caring human beings, that there ever was a true friendship there (not something one sided where one person gives and gives and the other just takes and takes) and that all people are compassionate and can see beyond themselves.  It hurts me deeply, not only because I have been used and hurt by these kinds of people, but because I see them doing the same thing to others, and I know that they too are going to be hurt. To be honest, it eats away at me.  Having to reconcile the “what should have been” with the reality of “what truly is” just messes with my mind.  I am slowly learning though that I have to accept that there are always going to be a few people in my life’s journey that are going to use everyone and every means they can to get whatever they want with no regard to how it hurts or effects others.  I’m just thankful that most of the people in my life truly are good people that do genuinely care about others.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Setting my Priorities Straight

On Saturday morning I got a phone call from our son Chris who asked if we would like to join Heather, Bradley and himself for a picnic and them go bowling.  My mind immediately went to the very long "to do" list that both my husband and I had planned on working on that day.  Then, without any hesitation I said yes!  That list could wait and be worked on another day.  It was one of those rare really warm Spring days that just begs you to be outside and enjoy the weather and who better to enjoy it with than your kids and grandchild.  Children grow up quickly and Jeff and I want to take advantage of all the time we can spend with our most precious treasures.  Knowing that there are ducks at the park we were going to , I packed some bread to feed them along with some fruit, soda, water and picnic supplies.

We met the kids at the grocery store to pick up some food for the picnic.  We loaded up on fried chicken, sushi (you can take the girl out of Hawaii but she still has to have her sushi), cookies, chips, and cheese sticks.  Bradley had a fantastic time "driving" while we shopped and sharing a brownie bite with Grammie.

From there we headed to the park to have our picnic.  I had forgotten how hard it is to keep a little one sitting to eat when there are so many toys to play on and thing to explore!  Bradley decided fairly quickly that he was done eating so he and I went off to play on the slides and swings while G-pa and his Mommy and Daddy finished their meal.  Heather soon joined us and she and I had a great time with Bradley on the slides. :)  He was really into them until he spied his Daddy (Chris) and G-pa playing catch and he was off and running to join them!

After he tired of that, we headed down to feed the ducks and the fish with the bread that I had brought.  Bradley was fascinated by the ducks and kept calling to them.  At first Bradley was very concerned that Grammie was throwing food and we had to explain to him that we were going to feed the ducks some bread.  Heather and I got the biggest kick out of Bradley deciding that some of the bread was going in his mouth as well.  Those ducks were going to have to learn to share.  Soon he spotted the fish and watched as his Daddy tried to catch one with his hands while luring them in with some bread.

Soon it was time to pack up and get Bradley out of the sun so we headed to the bowling alley so that Chris, Heather and G-pa could bowl.  I like to watch them bowl but do not bowl myself.  It breaks my fingernails. Bradley quickly took up  his usual place next to the ball return where he could play with the bowling balls and cheer everyone on.  He would say "yay" as loud as he could and clap when someone would roll their ball down the alley.  That brought lots of smiles and laughter from the people who were bowling on the next lanes over from us!

I think Jeff and I have our priorities straight.  We spent the day with some of our family and then went home and got part of the "to do" list done.  We only did the essentials on the list since we were having the whole crew over for Easter Lunch the next day after church.  Time spent with family will always be our top priority. :)